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Magic in Customer Services


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‘You don’t need magic to change this world’ said J K Rowling in her commencement speech at Harvard University. Rowling is the author of famous Harry Potter series. These words stuck into my mind as I regularly receive request from my clients to give them the formula for ‘magical customer services’ for their retail brands. So I quote Rowling statement and tell them you don’t require magic to provide a good customer service.

The basis to provide a good customer service begins with defining the customer services standard for your brand. Most of the retail brands never defined these standards. Brands have the generalized customer service standards starting with outlet entrance cleanliness to closing of sales. These standards not written and the service map not prepared. This is the reason why the ‘Magic’ is usually missing from our service package.

The customer service map defines and explains the touch points where customer can intercept your brand. There are many occasions when I wanted to trace the head office and some senior executive of some brand and don’t get any clue from the web. Either website is not working or don’t have the web existence. So when call to retail outlet of the same brand for the info, they don’t either have the info or ask questions which are so annoying you regret you called. So the question ‘How will my representative attend the customer when have contact on telephone?’ is designed in the service mapping. This question is given all info required, what options have, how to answer if something is not known etc.

Best part of ‘magical customer service’ is it will not happen in the routine transaction. The magic happens in the ‘bounce back strategy’ or when you ‘manage or exceed customer expectation’. These are the two popular concepts in customer services.  The routine service is the one which goes smoothly and customers follow the flow. The opportunity to give magic to your service is in the unusual service.  

During a flight PIA hostess served meal and when she came back for the empty tray, one female passenger did not finished her meal, hostesses asked why she is not finished yet. The passage was accompanying a few months old child and crying since the flight airborne. Passenger told hostess the child is not letting her eat the food. She asked her to give the child to her and can finish the meal. She took the child to her kitchen and returned when the passenger is finished. The ‘Magic’ happened in the customer services. Whoever in the flight witnessed the event has appreciation in his/her eyes.

A renowned fashion brand in Lahore was visited by a female customer with a very young and healthy baby. The customer was not comfortable as holding the baby in one hand and shopping with other. a female sales staff observed and asked the customer to hand over the baby and walked with the customer throughout her shopping. When customer finished the shopping gave some money to the staff and asked the manger this is what I call ‘The Service’.

There are hundreds of examples when sales staff spotted the opportunity and provided the service with magic. So need to train our teams to be an active listener and look for opportunities around them.

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